Thursday, February 27, 2003

Is it really only Thursday? Big news day for sure. Where to the beginning, of course.

Last night ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan won the National Book Critics Circle award for best fiction of 2002.

Oprah Winfrey announced the rebirth of her bookclub. For now she's calling it, "Traveling with the Classics." Her plan is to read and discuss 3-5 classics a year, and to visit the location of each book. If anyone can put classics on the bestseller list, it's Ms. Oprah. Not that the NY Times would allow that anyway...should be interesting though.

The American Booksellers Association announced their shortlist for the 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards. The nominees for adult books are -
Adult Fiction:
Atonement by Ian McEwan (Nan Talese/Doubleday)
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (Harcourt)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Harcourt)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Little, Brown)
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking)

Adult Nonfiction:
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (Holt)
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (Random House)
My Losing Season by Pat Conroy (Doubleday)
Population, 485 by Michael Perry (HarperCollins)
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin's)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Dai (Anchor)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Perennial)
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall (Vintage)
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor)
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin)

All I can say is I'm glad I don't have to vote. I couldn't even come up with a top ten for 2002, never mind choosing the one best book. On the other hand, I have read almost all of the fiction books nominated, which was really surprising for some reason.

On the road again: Ian Rankin and George Pellecanos are going on tour together. RESURRECTION MEN is my give-away this month, and keep an eye out for the next contest....

Finally, a very sad day with the passing of Fred Rogers. His legacy of love should live on for years to come. I'm posting this from John Lee of Suburban Tribe because he said what I feel and said it eloquently:

...and one Goodbye.

Posted on February 27, 2003

I'm sure that more than a few Internet message boards and office water coolers are brimming with jokes about the death of Fred Rogers today. However, I'm man enough to admit that it makes me a little sad to see this humanitarian leave us. Mr. Rogers never tried to sell children a new toy or distract them for half an hour with violent, mediocre animation. He spoke to children on an adult level, while imparting to them the importance of treating yourself and others with love and respect. He was a big advocate of introducing children to the arts, and he was also a masterful storyteller who encouraged the use of imagination.

I hope PBS continues to rerun Mr. Roger's Neighborhood for a very long time. Even better, I hope at some point someone sees fit to release Mr. Roger's Neighborhood in a DVD archive for a very low price so that Fred Roger's legacy can be passed on within and between families for as long as possible.

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